Running apps on smartphones

ENDOMONDO

The weighing scale is no longer our only friend when it comes to calculating how much exercise we involve in regularly. With technological advancement, we are no longer restricted to calculating weight loss alone. We can measure every detail, including calories lost, speed, distance and compare features of every training plan intricately. One of the most widely used apps that most runners rely on currently is the Endomondo Sports Tracker.

This app is available on multiple platforms- Android, Blackberry and iOS. The basic idea is that it uses your smartphone’s GPS capability to track all sports data. Below are some of the features in the basic version of the app:

  • Track time, distance, speed and calories for any outdoor activity
  • Get audio feedback throughout your workout
  • Social sharing allows you to keep track of your friends' activities and comment on them. Sharing on Facebook and Google Plus is also available.
  • Heart rate tracking is possible with ANT+ and Zephyr heart rate monitors
  • Study routes and use popular route options to navigate your way around.
  • Save and view history to track your progress
  • Pause the app automatically when you have stopped
  • Manually enter a workout- for example, treadmill running, weight training

Pros:

  • Easy to use and configure.
  • Multiple features available and various options for types of workouts
  • There is an option available to get an audio coach (Under Audio Feedback settings), and this will give you pep talk, as well as feedback about lap time, distance, goals and more.
  • The 'Beat a Friend' or 'Beat Yourself' options serve as challenges that you can set for yourself that adds the extra motivational factor.
  • There is an option for interval training too, which comes along with time breaks for warm-up and cool down as well.

Cons:

  • Unlike watches and other fitness devices, the Endomondo Sports Tracker requires you to carry your smartphone on your person when going for your run or working out. This can become cumbersome, especially for runners, because recent smartphones aren’t necessarily the most lightweight things to lug around.
  • Some of the best features of the app, like Interval Training, Beat Yourself, graphs and calorie goals are not available in the free basic version, but only in the Pro version, that needs to be paid for.
  • A standard complaint that users have with Endomondo is the poor GPS connectivity. Though developers claimed to be working on this aspect and said it would be corrected in the updates that followed, it hasn't happened yet.

In conclusion, Endomondo Sports Tracker is reliable, accurate and offers many features, which is evidently why it is among the more popular apps in the fitness world. Though the basic version is sufficient for regular athletes, the Premium will come in handy for professionals. But if you the kind of person who likes to set specific goals and monitor progress with precision, the voice coach will give you the motivation that most solitary runners and fitness freaks miss out on otherwise.

Overall rating: 4/ 5

Video tutorial: http://youtu.be/vnngimwuu3A

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